Raising Hell

We’ve had a few storms here over the last few weeks.  Big arsed hairy Indian Ocean winter storms.

These are usually ok – the wind howls, the rain falls and then its gone.  Except this time we had 2 of them back to back, the first with a sudden howling gale that knocked down fences and trees and damaged the roof and the second, a few days later, bringing 12 hours of violent wind and torrential rain.  This, as you can imagine did not go well with the already damaged roof, and water came pouring in through one ceiling over of the windows in the back of the house.  Bah!

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I love my garden. Sure, its rough around the edges, only barely under a semblance of control, but after a busy season of pruning, hacking, digging and re-planting – it’s starting to come together.

This season, I bought a chainsaw, which meant bigger more serious chopping could be done. We have a lot more light coming into the back now as a result.

I also dug out two old crappy grassed areas and made a couple of vegetable patches.

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this and that

This is post about lots of different things, all unrelated.

Firstly, I just heard that my daughter got invited to audition for the junior year at the Royal Ballet School in London.  She attends one of the Royal Ballet School’s regional centres on a scholarship and they’ve asked her and one other student to go to London to audition for a place in the school proper.  I am so proud I could burst.

We have clever kids between us – one ballet star, one drummer in the making, a real brainiac who’s is practically top in Australia for junior school spelling and Henry, who at 3 is really too young to prove anything yet apart from his prowess at peeing standing up.  I’m not knocking that though, its a useful skill.

Secondly (and I told you this was unrelated) – there’s a house for sale down the end of the cul-de-sac opposite and the real estate agent keeps on putting the home open signs on our front lawn to point in the right direction.  As the council owns the first 6 feet or so of land on that strip, I gather we’re not allowed to object to that kind of thing.

Well, actually, I do frickin’ object – they put 5 signs out on Saturday for 5 hours for one estate agent, and 3 for another, just 4 signs on Sunday and 4 out there today, along the length of my whole garden.  I had to mow the lawn anyway today, so I just pulled up the signs and piled them up on the side whist I mowed.  When I was done, I just left them in a pile on the lawn.  It really annoys me – they never ask if its ok and having 8 damn signs on my lawn is just taking the piss.

Lastly – I’m not losing as much weight as I want.  My back really wasn’t happy with the morning walks, which was a real shame.  I think it was the sand, and I can’t be arsed to spend money on trainers to walk on the pavement.  I’m still dieting so hopefully that’ll continue to have the desired effect, it just may take a bit longer.

So thats that.

time to pay the piper

Yes, a winter of leaving the garden alone means I now have to spend the spring getting it sorted.

All the little jobs that would have been ‘easy’ are now kinda bigger and more involved.  Well, they’re probably not, its just hotter and sweatier out there!

The plan for the spring is as follows

  1. (today) strip and re-varnish the patio furniture.
  2. re-seat some of the bricks on the patio
  3. dig up and re-home the rotary washing line to a different part of the garden
  4. create a decking area in a currently neglected and overgrown part of the garden
  5. get the fence replaced (insurance job)
  6. create no-dig vegetable patch
  7. plant several fruit trees next to the new fence

Some of these tasks are easy – I can probably do the first 2 today, and the washing line is easy but a brutal physical job.  The decking is very involved and requires a lot of clearing and thinning of trees before I can even start.

I cleared the huge pile of cuttings from earlier in the year, the irrigation is all working, the grass is in better shape than last year (but still rough in places) and the pot plants are nicely established, so the garden is starting to feel a little bit more under control at last.

And now, lunch, then sand and varnish the patio furniture.

garden tastic

Its gotten hot all of a sudden and, as I’m really busy at work now, the aircon will have to remain unfixed as I dont have time to chase and chase the people I had lined up to come and sort it.

The garden, however, is very much my responsibility and, despite the heat, I will have to venture out and get dirty shortly.

Our neighbours dropped off some plants for us this morning (which set the dog off, hurling herself at the blinds in a bark-frenzy) which was really cool – they said they were going to a few weeks back but I’d kind of forgotten about it.

The only small snag is that they’re all the same plant – a rapidly growing daisy, but thats ok, I have lots of space in the garden to fill where I cleared almost a skip-full of ivy away earlier in the year.

So I’ll be out doing that once I’ve done the Sunday house cleaning session – always such a joy.

For your viewing pleasure, some photos of the fruits of my labour 🙂

garden antics

You may have guessed that I rather like gardening. There’s something very satisfying in getting nature to bend to my will. I’m kidding myself, its more like nature doing what the hell it pleases and me carving a little order within it all.

We got given a load of big outdoor pots by Jay’s parents a few weeks back as they were moving to a place with much less garden. The trouble with pots here is that the summer is very dry and hot and they would need watering every day or they’d be frazzled really quickly. And ideally, this means irrigation (again).

As luck would have it, there’s a valved riser by the patio that I guess was meant for this kind of thing, so yesterday I popped off to the hardware store for piping and drip sprinklers, potting compost, plants, flowers etc to get it all hooked up and looking nice.

I had to go back this morning (at 7:30am as it turned out, thanks to the fookin’ dog that started yapping and carrying on at 6:30 so I had to get up) for a couple of parts that I needed, but was back in time to have it all done and dusted before 11am.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is some of my garden so far – there is still muuuuch work to be done though, which will keep me happy and busy throughout the summer.

This new grass may not look like much, but its growing really fast

new grass

Pipes go up the wall, along the pergola, down the upright and along the ground.


The patio is starting to look nice at last. We have a grape vine that is busy growing over the top of the patio – hopefully it’ll look all Mediterranean before too long.

irrigation pipe

the green green grass of home part 2

The grass I planted last weekend has already started to grow, Quite a lot, actually.

Its like the dirt has suddenly gone hairy.

Its awesome – even the grass seed that I tossed on the bare and thin patches of lawn has sprouted in a few places. So I’ll be mowing the bits of the old lawn that I can tomorrow and seeding the rest of it right after. Houston, we have grass.

Well, that was interesting, wasnt it?

howdy neighbour

as I was clearing away some of the garden rubbish out the front, the neighbours across the road came out to potter about their front garden before going on an evening stroll, as is their want every night.

They are a retired couple, probably in their early 70s and they have a lovely house and garden. I decided to walk over and say hi.

And they’re lovely, so friendly with a good sense of humour. I can tell the previous owners and tenants of my house have been neglectful of it in the past as their questions are subtly directed at what I’ve done to the house garden so far, what I’m doing now and what I’m going to do.

The garden is in a bit of a flux state right now – my hacking back, pruning, digging and irrigation repairs has probably made the garden look worse than it did a few months ago – especially the front lawn after I had 3 big trees taken out and am in the middle of a serious weed and feed blitz.

The neighbours make no secret they are pleased I’m working on making it look good (it was so neglected when we bought the house) and promise to come over sometime with cuttings of plants from their garden

I feel a little bit more a real part of things here after that..


…for my films to come back.

They’ll be another few days and I can’t wait! There’s something magical in this process that digital can’t offer. Loading into Lightroom or Photoshop and processing is a bit sterile. Perhaps if I took more photos and did more creative things with the camera instead of opening a beer and chilling on the patio 🙂

In other news, I’m making progress with the garden – off to buy some kerb stones to mark off the lawns from the flowerbeds tomorrow. Then seed the grass and get some flowers. Hopefully the almost endless summer sunshine we get here will take care of the rest. Even the grapevine is thriving after a really good chop earlier in the year – I’m going to start training it over the patio roof so we can sit under an Italian style canopy.

There’s nothing better than relaxing in a garden you sculpted yourself. Well, in my case, wrestled into submission.

sunday sunday, so good to me..

Ok, its a day earlier than the Mama’s and the Papa’s had it.

Its been a very slumpy day today – I did the weeding and feeding and dressing the bits of the lawn with wetting agent and thats about all I’ve really done so far.

I should get to speak to the kids on Skype in a bit and then probably take my step-daughters to the park once its cooled off a bit. No photos yet, I might go out between the park and dinner time, but as its so warm, I might just buy some cold beers and sit outside with the wafting scent of sandalwood and citronella..

Anwyay, hope all your weekends are going similarly swimmingly 🙂

More later. Possibly.